AT 94 SHE'S TOO BUSY TO GROW OLD

Philadelphia Inquirer

AT 94 SHE'S TOO BUSY TO GROW OLD

JUST reaching the age of 94 would be enough to make most women sit back and wonder at their physical tenacity. But Mrs. Thomas Potter, Jr., of Germantown, never has been pleased by the passive. She feels that the whole secret of life and happiness is to be active in some useful way, and her own life proves that her theory holds truth. "You've got to give something of yourself that is invaluable," she says. "Something bigger and better than yourself, with no further objective than to help someone else achieve an easier and brighter life. I have always been too busy to grow old, and I have no patience with people who talk of lonely women—widows and mothers whose children have grown up. They should get out and do worthwhile things." Most of Mrs. Potter's service has been in connection with the Red Cross. It started in 1889 when she sent a trained nurse from her own household to help Clara Barton with relief work after the Johnstown Flood.

In 1916 she opened Red Cross work rooms, now known as the local chapter's "Production Service." Although she was a volunteer worker, Mrs. Potter ran her job on a full time business basis until her partial "retirement" in 1940. Since then she has continued as an advisor and honorary chairman of the production corps, and at present she also is honorary secretary of the chapter.

Mrs. Potter easily could keep herself occupied by simply reviewing her memories. Born in Wisconsin in 1855, she has lived through five wars and a dozen major disasters. In 1912, at the age of 57, she survived the sinking of the Titanic But she always has been far more interested in the present than the past. Alert to current happenings at home and abroad she is capable of lively discussions. She feels that this nation's great achievements have been largely the result of individual enterprise. Recently, just to keep busy, she completed a correspondence course in Bible study. Currently she is knitting sweaters to be sent to the children of displaced families abroad. She lives in a pleasant apartment with a daughter and two grandsons, enjoys daily walks in the garden, and reads wild west stories for relaxation. 'They take my mind off my work," she explained once. "And after I've killed off five" or six Indians, I can sleep like a baby."

Related Biographies:

Lily Alexenia Potter

Acknowledgements

Gavin Bell

Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) AT 94 SHE'S TOO BUSY TO GROW OLD (Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday 11th September 1949, ref: #175, published 29 August 2020, generated 20th September 2020 12:27:27 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/at-94-shes-too-busy-to-grow-old.html